On 1 June a new type of travel business will launch – Charitable Travel is a social enterprise with the clear message that travel is a force for good, helping travellers combine their holiday planning with support for the great work that UK-based charities deliver in the UK, and around the world.
Charitable Travel has a unique business model, the first nationally available Community Interest Company social enterprise in the travel industry, as a not-for-private-profit travel company, providing customers with the opportunity to book a holiday to anywhere in the world and donate a proportion of the holiday price to a UK registered charity of their choice through a platform partnership with JustGiving.
As a registered social enterprise, supporting those in need and aiding fundraising is at the heart of everything that Charitable Travel does, customers can rest assured that every penny of profit generated is invested in good causes. In addition to enabling customers to donate, Charitable Travel also work directly with individual charities to help them raise awareness of the fantastic work they do and assist with fundraising.
What is so unique about Charitable Travel?
Charitable Travel is a licenced travel company and member of Worldchoice, part of The Travel Network Group the largest organisation of independent travel agents in the UK, and is run by highly experienced and successful industry professionals, providing a wide choice of holidays, a high quality, great value service and financially protected bookings.
Gary Lewis, chief executive of Worldchoice, said: “We are very excited by the opportunity this new style of charitable travel company offers to raise significant funds for good causes”.
The concept is simple, Charitable Travel sacrifices travel agency commission. Therefore, when customers book a cruise or a holiday, they convert 5% of the total price of their trip into a donation to a charity of their choice through the dedicated JustGiving webpage. Empowering customers to share the pleasure that a holiday brings by supporting local communities both at home and abroad.
Marshall Simmonds, JustGiving’s director, sales and partnerships, commented: “The combination of the travel industry, an underlying social and charitable purpose and an effective mechanism for fundraising through JustGiving makes Charitable Travel a powerful opportunity for travel consumers wanting to make a real difference in personal giving at no extra cost when they book holidays, flights cruises and hotels.”
Charitable Travel launch in lockdown and will offer travel from September 2020, but the focus is on travel in 2021. Melissa Tilling, founder and CEO of Charitable Travel, who has more than 33 years’ experience in managing travel companies, commented: “I have always been a fervent believer in the good that travel and tourism can bring to local communities in the destinations served and although the industry is facing an incomparable crisis right now, we are resilient. UK travellers are passionate about their holidays and determined they will travel again once it is safe to do so.
During the current COVID crisis we have seen an inspiring show of unity from people across the country, a true community spirit has arisen as we realise the importance of appreciating and supporting one another. We have also been reminded in recent months that to travel is a privilege and many of us have spent our time in isolation seeking out travel inspiration, planning for that much needed break to look forward to.
Charitable Travel wants to help encourage a continuation of this more thoughtful mindset by helping travellers combine philanthropy with their holiday planning, providing the opportunity to donate part of their holiday cost to a much-needed charitable causes.
When customers are ready to start booking holidays again, we offer a new way to book that will ensure travel will be a force for good, regardless of the destination and travel type, because every booking creates a positive outcome for a charitable cause.”
Charities need help now more than ever
The Culture Secretary recently announced that an incredible £800m has been raised by the UK public during the crisis to support charities and that a further £150m in funds will be released to support charities and youth projects. However, the sector has estimated that is will lose over £4.3bn income in the first 3 months of the crisis, meaning charities across the country have been severely impacted and are still desperately in need of support.
Charitable Travel has so far focused on developing partnership with charities outside the top 25 fundraisers including Just A Drop, a grassroots charity which transforms lives by bringing sustainable safe water, sanitation and hygiene projects to communities across the world. During June Just A Drop are raising funds to support vulnerable communities during the COVID19 crisis.
Fiona Jeffery OBE, Founder and Chairman of Just a Drop, commented “Charitable Travel’s social purpose offers longstanding and new supporters of Just a Drop a unique way to support our critically important cause – simply by booking a holiday. The best part is there is no cost to Just a Drop and no extra cost to our supporter. This is a real win-win partnership between charity and social enterprise’.
Another partner is My Life Films, a charity dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by dementia. A group of passionate filmmakers who believe that every person has as a wonderful life story to tell. Their vision is a world where people living with dementia are not defined by their illness.
Giulia Bruzzone of My Life Films commented: “Charitable Travel is an amazing initiative that combines travelling with the good cause of donating part of the holiday you are about to take to charity. My Life Films are thrilled to be one of the charities involved and it will make such a difference to us. We are a small organisation which make life story films for people living with dementia. The films improve wellbeing and capture life memories. Some of the most vivid and precious memories are made on the holidays we take throughout our lives. For this reason, we think that our partnership with Charitable Travel has a powerful link connecting the joy of travelling and the importance of creating and preserving memories.”
For more information about Charitable Travel visit: www.charitable.travel
Mark Bibby Jackson
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